News Archive

Private View held by Richard Andrews

Last updated : 16th August 2000

Commencing

Buckminster Fuller: Your Private Sky demonstrates the wide range of work produced by the American scientist, philosopher, designer, architect, artist, engineer, entrepreneur, mathematician and pedagogue. Richard Buckminster Fuller is best known for the invention of the geodesic dome - the lightest, strongest, and most cost-effective structure ever devised. His lifelong goal was the development of what he called "Comprehensive Anticipatory Design Science" - the attempt to anticipate and solve humanity's major problems through the highest technology by providing "more and more life support for everybody, with less and less resources." Fuller worked simultaneously on plans for houses, cars, boats, furniture, domes and television transmitters, all to be mass-produced using the simplest and most sustainable means possible. This exhibition provides the first opportunity in this country to assess the vast range of his creative output through models, drawings and artefacts from his personal archive. Design Museum until 15th October.

Men of the Clyde: Stanley Spencer's Vision At Port Glasgow is the result of a commission in 1940 from the War Artist's Advisory Committee to paint a series of works documenting the activities of Lithgow's shipbuilding yard. The English painter Stanley Spencer spent the next five years completing the task, and during that time painted a remarkable commemorative series of large pictures depicting the shipyard workers. The men in these monumental paintings are an extraordinary mixture of Stalinist "worker as hero" and renaissance "Paradise Lost" angel. For the first time the works are hung as Spencer intended, with the long narrow panels (some six yards in length) arraigned round a central altarpiece as in a medieval chapel. They are displayed alongside works from Spencer's later Resurrection series, his personal tribute to the people of Port Glasgow, which symbolise the rebirth and regeneration of Glasgow after the war. Scottish National Portrait Gallery until 1st October.

The Wonders Of The Universe Star Show is designed to create a first hand experience of space travel using the first installation in Europe of Digistar II, a state-of-the-art projection system. As well as producing the conventional stars and planets of the night sky, which has been the London Planetarium's business since 1958, it uses computer graphics to bring virtual reality to a three-dimensional journey through space. Unlike mechanical projectors, which give only an Earth-based view of the heavens, Digistar II can simulate with complete accuracy a journey through galaxies to the edge of the known universe, or even recreate the Big Bang. The show starts on Mars in 2502 and includes close encounters with a Supernova (the death of a massive star) the exploration of a black hole and a close look at our sun. London Planetarium continuing.

Continuing

Eat Drink And Be Merry: The British At Table 1600-200 at Kenwood House is the ultimate visitor experience, combining the current passion for food and drink with the ongoing interest in stately homes in one package. If a visit also includes a lakeside concert in the evening, then every sense can be nourished at one location. Replica banquets from different periods are laid out in five rooms, using the authentic furniture, table settings, silverware, glassware, china, ornaments and decorations. Meals featured include the Duke of Newcastle's 1698 Windsor Castle feast and Mrs Beeton's recommendations for an 1892 breakfast. In addition there are paintings and lithographs of many more gourmet occasions, from An English Family At Tea to Fatal Effects Of Gluttony. Kenwood House, London, 020 8348 1286 until 24th September.

Salvador Dalí's Optical Illusions focuses on the great Surrealist painter's life-long fascination with illusion, visual perception and distortion, comprising seventy of his most important paintings, drawings and sculptures. The exhibition explores how double or dissolving images relate to scientific thought and study, often transforming or reworking art from earlier periods. It examines the techniques Dalí developed in anamorphic perspective, pointillism and stereometry, and analyses his use of photography and hologram. Dalí's fascination with the dreams led to some of the twentieth century's most brilliant and disturbing visualisations of the unconscious. Organised by the Wadsworth Atheneum at Hartford, Connecticut, this is the only showing of the exhibition outside the USA. With Dali Universe continuing in London, it's true what they say, you wait ages for a Dali retrospective and two come along at the same time. Dean Gallery, Edinburgh until 1st October.

Rites of Passage is the second in the three part sequence of exhibitions being staged this year under the umbrella title The Times Of Our Lives, which examine human experience in relation to time, and events common to us all throughout our lives from birth to death. It focuses on the rituals of ordinary lives, with objects and images from around the world associated with everything from wedding cakes to funeral masks, dowry textiles to childbirth charms. Mixing art, archaeology and social history, it brings together diverse approaches to life changing moments from different times and cultures, including Nigerian dolls and an Egyptian mummy. A film by Inga Burrows featuring local people discussing the themes covered by the exhibition will be shown throughout the run. Wentworth Gallery Manchester until 17th September.

Force Fields: Phases Of The Kinetic is the most comprehensive exhibition of kinetic art ever staged in Britain, with over 100 works from over 40 artists created between the 20's and the 80's. Kinetic art produces, relates to, or appears subject to motion or force - in other words it moves about, lights up and/or makes a noise. It is arguably one of the most important, yet the most overlooked movement of the second half of the twentieth century. Among the pieces here are the anarchical machines of Tinguely, Lygia Clark's interactive Abyss Masks, Yves Klein's paintings made with fire, Julio Le Parc's Continuous Light Cylinders, the vibration paintings of Jesus Soto, Hans Haacke's installations with water, air and vapour, David Medalla's Mud Machine and the abstract films of James Whitney. But where are the lasers? Many of the works are rarely seen in galleries today and have been specially reconstructed for this exhibition.

Immaterial is the ultimate Blue Peter project, as the foyer of the adjoining Royal Festival Hall is transformed with a site specific installation made from reams of white paper and brown parcel tape. Artstation are pioneers of the use of computer aided design to create virtual works which are brought to life using a drawing robot. They have designed labyrinthine structures that curve and sweep in and out of the pillars and steps and inflate with air to draw attention to the architectural dimensions of the building. There are free activities for children and daily "meet the artist" sessions enabling visitors to find out how it is done - but don't try this at home. South Bank Centre, Force Fields: Phases Of The Kinetic, Hayward Gallery until 17th September - Immaterial, Royal Festival Hall until 29th August.

Defining Features: Scientific And Medical Portraits 1660-2000 is much more interesting than its bald description "portraits of scientists, doctors and technologists from the foundation of the Royal Society to the present day" would lead you to believe. It includes the first ever electronic portrait. Tom Phillips has created a ten minute video sequence in which a scan of his brain dissolves (with the aid of Tipp-Ex) into a portrait of Susan Greenfield (Director of the Royal Institution who is currently being brainy in all media) and back again. The piece, which was specially commissioned for this exhibition, uses over 200 pieces of artwork - sketches, video and photographs - to create a mesmerising and almost imperceptibly changing work. It is shown on a state of the art 28-inch vertical flat screen no thicker than a canvas. National Portrait Gallery until 17th September.

High Street Londinium uniquely combines the skills of the archaeologist, the historian and the craft worker. Fulfilling the current brief of "Culture Lite", its purpose through painstaking reconstruction is both to entertain and contribute to knowledge about Romano-British buildings and living conditions. The starting point was a dig by the Museum of London Archaeology Service at 1 Poultry between 1994 and 1996, where a city very different from the traditional image of Roman life was revealed. Instead of great stone buildings, temples, bath houses and mosaics, most buildings were made of timber and mudbrick, and had been inhabited by working craftsmen. This exhibition is a recreation of the commercial centre of London as it was in AD 100, including the premises of a baker, carpenter and potter, complete with the authentic aromas of wood smoke and rotting food. Visitors can enter the houses and shops that lined the via decumana, the main road through the Roman town, and handle the belongings and tools of the people who lived and worked there. Alongside are the remains of the actual artefacts found at the dig. Museum Of London until 7th January.

Concluding

Building The Millennium - Paintings By Glynn Boyd Harte is a series of watercolours that record the ever-evolving face of the capital. This exhibition celebrates London's Millennium architecture - the London Eye, the Tate Modern at Bankside and the Millennium Bridge - projects which have altered the face of the city. Museum Of London until 28th August.

Carl Andre is the first major exhibition of the artist's work in London for over twenty years, and is a retrospective of his fifty year career. Andre's pile of bricks at the Tate in 1966 defined (or defiled) minimalist art for a generation. Fans of the permutation and repetition of bland and identical units will find thirty works from as early as 1958 to the present. Civilians may wish to know that he has certainly moved on - now he is using railway sleepers, and some of them are standing on end. Andre's current obsession is metal floor plates placed like stepping stones across the upper galleries. Whitechapel Gallery until 27th August.

Edinburgh Military Tattoo celebrates the 50th Anniversary of its unique blend of music, ceremony, entertainment and theatre, set against the backdrop of Edinburgh castle. The largest programme ever staged features 1000 performers from 30 countries, including 15 pipe and drum bands from affiliated Scottish Regiments, 48 Highland Dancers and a 70 strong choir. This year's theme is the contribution of the Commonwealth, and items include Ngati Rangiwewehi Maori Group in an exhibition of Kapa Haka dance, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police with a drill demonstration complete with lances, the African Zulu Infantry Battalion Dance Team performing traditional songs and dances, and the West Indian Trinidad and Tobago Defence Force Steel Orchestra - the world's only military steel band. Full details from the Edinburgh Military Tattoo web site via the link from the Others - Festivals section of ExhibitionsNet. Castle Esplanade, Edinburgh until 26th August.